KL Minardi Asiatech today launched the PS02 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Team Principal Paul Stoddart is optimistic about the coming season. The car looks striking with its red and black livery and seems more streamlined and elegant than last ...
KL Minardi Asiatech today launched the PS02 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Team Principal Paul Stoddart is optimistic about the coming season. The car looks striking with its red and black livery and seems more streamlined and elegant than last year's model.
"Instead of the challenge of building a car in just six weeks," said Stoddart, "which was the task we faced in 2001, by the time we arrive in Melbourne for the first Grand Prix of the new season, in early March, the latest KL Minardi Asiatech PS02 will have completed several thousand miles of testing in the hands of our talented young drivers, Alex Yoong and Mark Webber. Initial feedback suggests we have made identifiable progress in a number of areas, in particular the engine, courtesy of Asiatech's AT02 V10, and aerodynamic performance, which is the result of an intensive wind tunnel programme undertaken by the team over the last six months. As a result, we believe there is a genuine opportunity for KL Minardi Asiatech to achieve its aim of scoring World Championship points this season."
The team's new chief aerodynamicist, Loic Bigois, and his technical team, spent much time in the Fondmetal Technologies wind tunnel at Casumaro, north of the team's Faenza headquarters. The PS02 has a raised nosecone, reshaped and extended engine cover and higher sidepods with different inlets. Beneath the bodywork is a new "floor" optimised to work in conjunction with the latest slim-line version of Minardi's unique, titanium-cased gearbox.
Mechanically the biggest change is the use of a pushrod rather than pullrod-operated front suspension. This arrangement, also used on the PS01 chassis last year, theoretically lowers the centre of gravity on the car. The engine of the PS02 is the new Asiatech AT02 V10 which is more powerful, lighter and more compact than the one it replaces and also more efficient in the way of cooling requirements.
"We are very pleased with the way the new car has come together," said Minardi Technical Director, Gabriele Tredozi. "We are benefiting in particular from the fact that we have had ample lead-time to work on the whole package. For example, we understood well what areas of last season's car we wanted to improve, we have known for some time what engine we are using, and we have been able to put in many useful hours in the wind tunnel developing the aerodynamic package for the PS02. As a result, we are far ahead of where we were at this time last year. Now, with an extensive pre-season testing program planned as well, we believe we are well placed to make progress on the track this coming season."